Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'd like to know the rationale behind NOT raising the limit


Is there a good reason to NOT raise the limit on Social Security contributions?

CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield FAIL: "homosexuality is a lifestyle choice”

From Media Matters: During the Thursday edition of CNN’s Early Start, co-anchor Ashleigh Banfield reported on comments made by Kansas Pastor Curtis Knapp, who recently called for the government to kill gays and lesbians. In an exclusive CNN interview, Knapp clarified his comments, stating:

"We punish pedophilia, we punish incest, we punish polygamy and various things. It's only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption."

Banfield wasn’t pleased by Knapp’s attempt to compare homosexuality to pedophilia and incest. In her attempt to discredit Knapp’s explanation, however, she claimed that, unlike pedophilia and incest, “homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people. It is voluntary."

BANFIELD: Pedophilia is not by choice, last I checked. In his sermon, Pastor Knapp blamed the Bush administration for its tolerance of gay people. Says that he claims that set the stage, in fact, for the Obama administration to endorse same-sex marriage. Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up. Unbelievable. Speechless, right?
[...]

BANFIELD: Again, we gotta outline here, when he says “they punish incest and pedophilia,” please. Those things are often not by choice and are crimes. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people. It is voluntary.

While Banfield was clearly trying condemn Knapp’s anti-gay remarks, she ended up doing a lot more harm than good. A person’s sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle choice” or voluntary – it is an immutable part of their identity.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” Scientific research has demonstrated that a person’s sexual orientation is not a matter of choice but rather “primarily neurological at birth.” According to molecular biologist Dean Hamer, sexual orientation is regarded in the scientific community as a phenotype and is “deeply rooted in biology.”

More importantly, the claim that gay people can simply choose to not be gay is a favorite talking point of some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay organizations. Groups like the National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council, American Family Association have all used the idea that gay people can voluntarily change their sexual orientation as a justification for denying equality to gays and lesbians. The “lifestyle choice” myth is also at the heart of efforts to “cure” gay people through “ex-gay” therapy, which has been discredited as ineffective and potentially harmful by nearly every major professional medical organization in America.

In other words, in her attempt to mock Knapp’s extreme anti-gay remarks, Banfield ended up reinforcing one of the right’s most damaging myths about LGBT people.

Watch the video here.

Lillias White to head up special LA Gay Pride kickoff event of Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays Los Angeles have announced they will host an LA Gay Pride kick-off event at Eleven Nightclub in West Hollywood.

Featuring performances by Tony Award Winner Lillias White (Broadway’s THE LIFE, H2$, DREAMGIRLS, FELA!, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, CHICAGO) plus cast members from the Broadway-bound production of HANDS ON A HARD BODY.

Musical Mondays Los Angeles is a weekly celebration of musical theatre in West Hollywood that has been running for more than three years.

Every Monday night at Eleven Nightclub in West Hollywood, VJ Keith Jacobson plays videos from Broadway and movie musicals followed by a LIVE show at 10 PM.

Past Musical Mondays performers have included Marissa Jaret Winokur, Shoshana Bean, Eden Espinosa, Lorna Luft  & many, many more.

Musical Mondays LA Pride Kickoff will be held at Eleven Nightclub in West Hollywood on Monday, June 4th at 10 PM. Admission to Musical Mondays Los Angeles is always FREE.

Eleven Nightclub is located at 8811 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

For more info visit the Facebook page by clicking here.

Mitt Romney's budget proposal vs. Solyndra


Mitt Romney gave a performance today in front of the Solyndra offices trying to make a point about government spending and debt ($535 million given to Solyndra for development and research). 

Meanwhile, he ignores the fact that his own budget proposal would cost over $10 trillion.  The graphic above shows how those two amounts relate to each other.

Things that make you go "hmm...."
(source)

True Blood - Starts June 10th


John Edwards not guilty of illegal campaign contributions



Jurors have found John Edwards not guilty of accepting illegal campaign contributions, according to CNN affiliate WRAL.

That was the sole count the jury had indicated earlier that they had reached a unanimous verdict on.

The jury was still deadlocked on the other charges.  The judge has declared a mistrial on the other five counts.

Random thought: Prince Harry

Click pic for larger view

Prince Harry is a good looking guy. 

Just saying...

One Million Moms are "disturbed" that JC Penny included two gay dads in ad


The group One Million Moms - who actually only number about 40K - released a press release criticizing JC Penney for featuring real-life gay dads in their most recent catalog.

Describing themselves rather accurately as 'disturbed,' the group again vowed to keep fighting the gay-friendly retailer. "Our persistence will pay off!" they declare in their press release, which also insists JCP "would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war."
It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war. JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.
In addition to again urging their supporters to call and write to JC Penney, OMM also asks them to return any unsolicited catalogs that may come their way. "If they receive an onslaught of their returned magazines, they will take notice."

Despite these frequent calls to action, JC Penney has remained steadfast in their commitment to equality.

Listen: Jake Pavelka on The Candi & Randy Show

Listen to internet radio with CandiXRandy on Blog Talk Radio

We recently welcomed Jake Pavelka (The Bachelor, Dancing With The Stars) as a guest on The Candi & Randy Show to talk about his new web series on Yahoo Comedy Channel "Burning Love" produced by Ben Stiller.

Plus we talk about his recent run headlining in Las Vegas as the Celebrity Guest MC with The Chippendales at the Rio All-Suites Hotel. And we discuss his appearances on the ABC hit TV shows "The Bachelor" and "Dancing With The Stars."

For more on Burning Love, visit www.burninglove.com

Hit the play button above to listen.

Gay Military Marriage Proposal



Sweet.

From SOCRUSH, an LGBT group of people that want to help community members live longer and healthier by encouraging them to live smokefree.

Ab Fab blooper reel



These ladies crack me up. Even when they don't mean to. Enjoy.

Romantic italian commercial for John Saint-Denis candles



This is how to sell candles.

And how about the sexy leading man of the video, Peter Calandra?

From the YouTube page: After a difficult day, Paolo rushed from the American offices in Torino, climbing up the hills to Montgenevre just over the French border. Phone dead, car stopping and starting, navigating road construction, he was going to be late for their anniversary dinner at their Palazzo.

http://www.johnsaint-denis.com

Starring Peter Calandra (https://www.facebook.com/PeterVCalandra)

Executive Producer: John Saint-Denis
Director: Nino Mancuso
Producer: Brian Rodda

Kansas Pastor Curtis Knapp calls for government to round up and kill gays



The leader of the New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, pastor Curtis Knapp, told parishioners that the government should round up LGBT people and kill them, according to audio posted by the Good As You blog.

"'Oh, so you're saying we should go out and start killing them?'" the pastor asked rhetorically. "No, I'm saying the government should. They won't, but they should."

He later explained to CNN that gays have nothing to fear from him, although he did say he believed gays should be rounded up by the federal government and killed.

This comes on the heels of a call for LGBT concentration camps from pastor Charles Worley in North Carolina. That sermon followed one by another North Carolina pastor named Sean Harris, who laughed at the idea anyone could be transgender and suggested cracking the wrists of a son who acts effeminate — a statement he later claimed was some kind of joke.

Also making the rounds today is a cell phone video of a child being cheered on by his Indiana church while singing, "Ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."

The Human Rights Campaign quickly denounced the comments and the string of others like it, saying extremists were "hijacking" religion.

"These are extreme and brutal messages that do not represent the beliefs of most people of faith," said Sharon Groves, HRC’s director of religion and faith. "People like Charles Worley and the parishioners of Apostolic Truth in Indiana are falsely perpetuating the word of God and stand to do real damage to religious institutions in the process.”
(source)

JC Penney features same-sex couple dads in new ad

JCPenney has just launched a Fathers’ Day advertisement featuring a gay couple with their children, noting that the ad portrays “real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children, Claire and Mason.”

The copy reads:
First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.
The ad builds on the department store’s recent decisions to stand with the LGBT community. In February, when JCPenney came under fire from the anti-gay group One Million Moms for bringing on the openly-gay comedian Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson, the store stood behind its partnership with Ellen.

JCPenney’s CEO said that “Ellen represents the values of our company” — and with this kind of pro-equality advertising, JCPenney is continuing to reinforce its progressive values.
(source)

NC Pastor Charles "Concentration Camp" Worley avoids the press



After his inflammatory remarks saying gays and lesbians should be put behind electrified fences until they die out, Pastor Charles Worley is avoiding any contact with the press or addressing his remarks.

Gay marriage opponents in WA state say they have signatures for ballot measure


Gay marriage opponents looking to overturn that state's marriage equality law claim they have collected enough signatures to get their measure on this November's ballot:
Joseph Backholm, with Preserve Marriage Washington, said that the campaign for Referendum 74 has at least 150,000 signatures on hand. Backers of R-74 need to turn in 120,577 valid voter signatures by next Wednesday in order to qualify for the ballot. The secretary of state's office recommends that campaigns submit about 150,000 signatures in order to provide a cushion for invalid or duplicate signatures." 
As we saw this morning, though, most Washington voters want to keep the equality law in place, and the pro-LGBT group Washington United for Marriage is ready for a campaign fight.

"We always expected [opponents] to reach the number," said group spokesman Zach Silk "We've been preparing our campaign to talk to voters. We believe at the end of the day they'll side with us to uphold the law."

Silk also says his group has about $714,000 in the bank to maintain same-sex marriage. Preserve Marriage, in contrast, only has about $43,000.
(source)

Federal Appeals Court overturns key provision of DOMA


In what will without a doubt be a landmark decision, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston today ruled that key pieces of the Defense of Marriage Act, that 90s-era law prohibiting the federal government from extending marriage benefits to same-sex couples, violates the Constitution.

The case, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, hinges on whether the government has a rational reason for discriminating against gay couples. The court clearly thinks not, because "moral disapproval" should not be the basis of laws.
The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns. The court didn't rule on the law's other provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in other states.
Metro Weekly provides a portion of the ruling:
[M]any Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress' denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.
Here is a PDF of the decision.
(source)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Joe Manganiello in Men's Health UK

Just to help you get over hump day, here's a few pictures from Joe Manganiello's photo shoot for Men's Health UK.  I don't know about you but I'm definitely inclined to go buy the magazine now.

And don't worry, "Magic Mike" movie will be here soon.  This is just to tide you over until we get to enjoy Joe as "Big Dick Richie" in the upcoming Soderbergh film.

Click the pics to see larger view.  And isn't that what we all want?  A larger view...





Fox and Friends runs anti-Obama campaign ad as "journalism"



Note that Fox & Friends isn’t playing a campaign ad or a YouTube spot from an outside political action committee.

Nor does this come from the production company of one of its opinion-program hosts. The video starts with “Fox and Friends Presents” on the screen, making this an explicit argument from the news channel itself. This is a four minute video - not a casual comment thrown around here or there.

Should a news organization produce and publish attack ads like this? If anyone wanted to look for evidence that the overall Fox News organization intends to campaign against Obama rather than cover the campaign, this video would be difficult to refute as evidence for that claim.

While the video attempts to make an argument against another four years of President Obama, that shouldn’t be the job of news-reporting organizations.

And the remarkable thing was the the hosts on the couch for this show had the audacity to present it as journalism and congratulate the producer who put it together.

Zach Wahls sits down with Reason.TV


GLAAD reports that outspoken advocate and Eagle Scout Zach Wahls today delivered more than 275,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts of America at its National Annual Meeting in Florida, calling on the group to end its long history of anti-gay discrimination and reinstate Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forcibly removed as den leader of her son’s Boy Scouts troop because she’s gay.

After delivering the signatures, Wahls met briefly with Deron Smith, Public Relation Director with the Boy Scouts of America’s national office.



Zach recently sat down with Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie to discuss why his childhood was a lot like yours, the mainstreaming of same-sex marriage, his new book "My Two Moms" and Obama's "evolving" views on the subject.

ExxonMobil votes down LGBT employment protections


ExxonMobil shareholders have voted down a proposal to add gay and transgender employees to the Irving-based corporation’s nondiscrimination policy.

Meeting at the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District, the ExxonMobil shareholders voted 80 percent to 20 percent against a resolution asking the corporation to amend “its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy.”

Mobil was one of the first companies in the world to include sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy and offer benefits to the same-sex partners of gay employees. But ExxonMobil rescinded those policies after the merger.

ExxonMobil maintains the lowest possible rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, with a minus-25.
(source)

Dharun Ravi issues apology to all "affected" by his choices

Dharun Ravi, convicted of  has issued an apology to "everyone affected by" his choices and has elected to start his 30-day jail sentence despite the readying of his appeal by his legal team.

"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on Sept. 19, 2010, and Sept. 21, 2010. My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions. I apologize to everyone affected by those choices."

In March, a jury convicted Ravi of all 15 criminal counts with which he was charged, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. On two of the intimidation counts, he faced up to 10 years in state prison.

Official "Les Miserables" movie trailer



Gorgeous.

Opens December 14, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NOM's Brian Brown accepts Dan Savage's invitation to "debate" at kitchen table

From the National Organization for Marriage blog::

"Dan -- I accept and will look forward to debating you at your dining room table. As I said in my challenge to you, anytime, any place. While I appreciate the invitation that you have extended to my wife, she will not be able to attend. She is a full-time mom with seven beautiful children and an eighth on the way.

I have no objection to Mark Oppenheimer from the New York Times covering the discussion, nor to you hiring your own video crew to film the event, provided that I am able to hire my own video crew to be sure there is no creative editing of the discussion. Not that a New York Times reporter would slant the news, mind you! :)

This will be fun!" - Brian Brown.

Trump doubles down on "birther" issue



SRSLY folks... The Donald is getting more and more outrageous by stand pat on this.

The state of Hawaii has certified the birth certificate. The more Repubs bet on this, the less seriously you can take them.

Look out - clown car swerving this way...

Nice guy holds up fence



Twenty-four-year-old Alexandre Cavaliere looks great in these photos from his cover shoot for Revista A Capa magazine.

The Brazilian model was captured by photographer Sergio Santoian.

Supporters of Lesbian mom Boy Scout troop leader to present petitions

From AP: Supporters of a lesbian mother will present a petition at the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in Orlando to protest her removal from a troop in Ohio.

Deborah Tyrrell's supporters will present the petition with more than 275,000 names when the Boy Scouts' meeting begins in Florida Wednesday.

Tyrrell was removed last April as a leader of the troop near Bridgeport, Ohio. Boy Scouts' policy prohibits gays from being adult leaders.

Among those who will present the petition is Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, an Iowa college student who was raised by lesbian mothers. A video of Wahls urging Iowa legislators not to end civil unions went viral last year.

Scouts spokesman Deron Smith says there are no plans to change the policy but the group values freedom of expression.

Gareth Thomas naked - Attitude Magazine

Click pic for larger view
UK gay mag Attitude has released its annual Naked Issue and, in honor of the London Olympics, they put out rugby star Gareth Thomas on the cover.

Joining Thomas in the buff are reality star Jay of Geordie Shore, singer Rod Thomas, Olympic high jumper Robbie Grabarz and out actor Andrew Hayden-Smith (Doctor Who). The au naturel spread helps raise awareness of the National AIDS Trust HIV testing campaign.


WI: Multi-Platinum Recording Artists Headline ‘Get Out the Vote’ Rally in Madison


Via press release: Grammy Award-winning guitarist Tom Morello of “Rage Against The Machine,” singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, Tim McIlrath of the punk rock band “Rise Against,” international touring hip-hop artist Brother Ali and Mike McColgan, the original lead singer of “Dropkick Murphys” and the lead singer of the “Street Dogs,” are all hitting the stage in Madison to turn out the vote in a Wisconsin recall election that looks too close to call.

The “Get Out The Vote’ Rally, sponsored by We Are Wisconsin, will provide a massive boost to canvassing efforts days before the recall election on June 5.

The event, which will be held at the Madison Labor Temple at 1602 S. Park St., is free to the public with a sign up to volunteer to help get out the vote. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

“Gov. Scott Walker messed with Wisconsin workers and now it’s time to pay the piper,” said Morello. “I’m headed back to Madison with some friends to help yank that right-wing extremist out of office like a bad tooth. We are ready, willing and able to use our music to help rally the troops to do the hard work of knocking on doors and getting out the vote during the last critical hours of this recall election.”

Three different polls released in the past week have shown a dead heat with challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett having clear momentum and a superior field operation. Both sides have consistently said the election will come down to whom has the better ground game and turns out its base.

Fabulous future

Click pic to view larger

Monday, May 28, 2012

Eartha Kitt on life

Click pic for larger view
I met the great Ms. Eartha Kitt and saw her perform.  We should all be so focused and driven - in the very best ways possible.  She was a force of nature.

Pizza: Square, round, triangle - I'm confused


You know, I used to be blond....

Happy Memorial Day to our four-legged heroes too


MN: Gay man brutally beaten by high school seniors at graduation party


Click pic for larger view

Two teens, ages 18 and 19, are currently being held in custody at the St. Louis County Jail after what witnesses says was a homophobic assault by possibly more than 9 others, many high school seniors, at a graduation party near Duluth, Minnesota.

The Duluth News Tribune reports:
Max Pelofske, 21, of Duluth, said he came to a party at the pit to offer his congratulations to a friend’s sister, who will graduate from Proctor High School in several days. The friend, Kelly Johnson, also 21, said she and Pelofske had been at the unsanctioned gathering of about 50 people, mostly current and former Proctor students, for about five minutes when a boy approached her and Pelofske.

“He told me to look him in the eyes, and I was really confused because I’d never seen the guy before,” Pelofske told the News Tribune. “He asked me: ‘Are you gay?’ And I said, ‘Yes. Is that OK?’ ”

After that, Pelofske said he was struck in the head by a flying beer can, and a crowd of boys surrounded him, threw him to the ground and began punching and kicking him.

“I tried to get up, but I kept getting knocked back down,” said Pelofske, who described his alleged assailants as “all laughing and smiling.”

“They were trying to throw me into the fire,” he said.

Johnson said at least nine boys were involved in the attack.

“I thought they were going to kill him,” Johnson said, estimating that the beating went on for five to 10 minutes. She said she tried to intervene but was pushed away. “I was screaming, ‘Just let us leave!’ ”

Another senior claims Pelofske instigated the attack by stealing drinks from people:
Johnson refuted that account, saying Pelofske was attacked by a large group, not a single individual, and never attempted to fight back or to throw anything at anyone. She also said that she and Pelofske had been at the gathering only five minutes or so and had consumed no alcohol. She said they both asked for breath tests when police arrived to document they had not been drinking.

Pelofske was released from the hospital Sunday morning with bruised ribs, a swollen face, and foot marks all over his back and legs.

Police have not yet said whether they're classifying it as a hate crime:
“After they’re arraigned and charged, the assault charge should show whether it’s a crime of bias,” Sgt. Brent Donahue of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department told the News Tribune. “It’s an open investigation at this point.”
The 19-year-old in custody is being held on pending charges of assault in the fourth degree — which is a crime of bias, Donahue said — and possession of marijuana. The 18-year-old’s pending charges are unknown.

A Facebook page has been set up for Pelofske and a rally is planned.


New trailer for TRUE BLOOD Season 5

Biblical tattoo


NC: Rally to protest Pastor "Put gays inside a fence" Worley



News report from Sunday's rally to protest Pastor Charles Worley, who recently preached the idea that gays and lesbians should be put in concentration camps with electrified fences until they died.

The first Memorial Day - 1865


From Think Progress: According to Professor David Blight of Yale University, the first Memorial Day took place on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, after a group of African-Americans, mostly former slaves, gave 257 Union soldiers a proper burial.

The black community in Charleston then consecrated the new cemetary with “an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people,” led by 3,000 black school children.

It was initially called “Decoration Day.”

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Survival 101



You know, when you're in a house with only Chardonnay and PopTarts, you'd be surprised to find how well they go together once you get to your second glass of wine... :)

Now, I'm not getting too technical here because, of course, the Brown Sugar Cinnamon isn't much of a match for Chardonnay but you could reach for the Merlot and get away with it.

And of course, this is all predicated on the "second glass" scenario, but, hey - a girl's gotta eat.

Guess what I'm doing today?



Rehearsing for my production of "Sweet Charity" this summer.

I'm dancing, kids, look - I'm dancing....

Official Randy Report Swag!


You had to know this was coming sometime!

We now have The Randy Report Official T-shirts, coffee mugs and a little something cute for the furry friends in you life!

Check out my little t-shirt selection at Cafe Press.

All proceeds go to help buy coffee or wine for this friendly neighborhood blogger  :)

NC: Domestic partnership benefits in limbo

In North Carolina, cities and counties that offer domestic partner benefits to employees are in limbo after voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

In some other states, such amendments have led to the end of domestic partner benefits for public workers. And that's exactly what some families in North Carolina are afraid of.

Melissa, Moira, and Libby Hodges, left to right, pose in front of a Christmas tree.
Ever since voters approved the constitutional amendment on May 8, Libby Hodges has worried about what could happen to her family's health coverage. But she's trying to put on a good face for her 4-year-old daughter, Moira.

"Sometimes it just happens that way," Libby Hodges tells her daughter. "Like when you play a soccer game. ... If I lose or win it's okay."

Libby works for the city of Durham, one of nine local governments across the state offering domestic partner benefits. Moira is on her insurance plan. But since Libby isn't the little girl's biological mom, that benefit could end.

Libby's partner, Melissa Hodges, who gave birth to Moira, could add their daughter to her insurance plan. That would cost an extra $500 a month, a big hit to their budget. Melissa says they may have to move to a state where domestic partner benefits are assured.

"I'm going to stay on the lookout for jobs in all these various different places in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland," says Melissa Hodges. "I was looking back at the list today of which states do we have all the same benefits and rights or at least as close as we can get."

More at NPR

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Olivia Newton-John - Indy 500 Parade Grand Marshal

John, Olivia, Guy Fieri and Tommy Lasorda
Michael, John Easterling, Olivia and nephew Emerson
on the Yard of Bricks at Indy 500
Click pic to enlarge
Olivia Newton-John rides at the front of the 2012 Indy 500 Parade as the Grand Marshal

Bill Maher on conservatives' "Obama hate"



Bill Maher shot down claims that Obama has been racking up the government spending with statistics showing that of every president since Ronald Reagan, Obama has had the smallest annualized growth of federal spending. Or, in Maher’s words, “the black man’s is the shortest.”

He pointed to Obama’s concessions and moderate actions on the financial crisis, oil drilling, and other big issues.

Once again, Maher asked conservatives exactly what they mean when they claim Obama is the most radical president of all time.

[Obama] didn't go on a spending spree. He didn't break up the too-big-to-fail banks. They've only gotten bigger. And fail-ier. That's not what liberals wanted. That's what conservatives wanted.

At the 2008 convention, Sarah Palin chanted "drill baby drill!" Under Obama, there's more drilling than ever. That's not what environmentalists wanted. That's what conservatives wanted.

Obama spent most of last year conceding the Republican premise that government needed cutting. That's not what progressives wanted. That's what the Tea Party wanted.

The Dow was at 7949 when he took office. Now it's 12000 and over, and corporate profits are at their highest ever. If he's a socialist, he's a lousy one. He could not be less threatening if he was walking home with ice tea and Skittles.

So the question remains. How could you guys be so unhappy with Obama while I'm so unhappy with Obama? You think you got coal in your stocking? I wanted single payer health care, a carbon emissions bill, gun control and legalized pot. If you get to carry around all this outrage over me getting that sh*t, shouldn't I have gotten it?

So just admit it. This isn't about what Obama is. It's about what you need him to be. Because hating him is what gets you up in the morning.

(source)

Submitted without comment


Ten-year-old receives ear implant and hears for the first time



See legally deaf 10-year-old Sammie Hicks receive her cochlear implant, and for the first time hear the world in all its crazy polyphony.
(source)

Isaac's live Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal



This is really sweet. Starts out a bit silly, and then gets sillier and sillier, which is fabulous.  I think it's great!

Bruno Mars saw the video and tweeted this:

"Congrats to Isaac Lamb and the future Mrs. I don't think I could've made a better music video for this song. Thank you."

- @BrunoMars

Friday, May 25, 2012

New: Needle-less injections soon a reality

An MIT lab has come up with a painless, controlled way of shooting medicine through the skin without using needles.

The jet injector device uses a small, powerful magnet and electric current to inject drugs at nearly the speed of sound. Changes in the electric current allow the injector to work in two phases — a high-speed phase to enter the skin and reach a certain depth, and a lower-pressure phase to deliver the drug in a slow stream that allows for absorption.

"If you are afraid of needles and have to frequently self-inject, compliance can be an issue," said Catherine Hogan, a research scientist in MIT's department of mechanical engineering. "We think this kind of technology … gets around some of the phobias that people may have about needles."

The jet injector delivers its drugs through an opening as wide as a mosquito's proboscis.
(source)

Joey Lawrence talks about his upcoming run with the Chippendales



Joey Lawrence talks about his upcoming run as Celebrity Guest MC/Singer for Chippendales in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel.

His run will begin June 7th and run through June 24th.

New Orleans to be largest US city without daily newspaper



From Newsy: The saying “out with the old, and in with the new” is hitting home in New Orleans. The city’s daily newspaper, The Times-Picayune, announced starting this fall it will only publish Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Jobs will also be cut as the paper makes some more modern changes. CNN explains.

“The publisher said in a memo the Time-Picayune needed to dedicate more resources to its online presence. He announced a new media group including NOLA.com which will continue to report seven days a week.”

A new company called NOLA Media Group will include the Times-Picayune and its affiliate website. Forbes.com says according to the paper’s publisher the...

“...best path to success lies in a digitally focused organization that combines the award winning journalism of the Times-Picayune and the strength of NOLA.com”

The Times-Picayune received international recognition for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But many of its subscribers were forced out of the city by the storm, never to return. Today, the paper reaches about 155-thousand doorsteps on Sundays and 134-thousand on weekdays. But Poynter says it was double that before the storm.

“...circulation in March 2005, before Katrina flooded the city and shrank the population: about 285,000 on Sundays and 257,000 on weekdays.”

On Twitter, David Hammer, the investigative reporter at the Times-Picayune told his followers...

“...It’s like a morgue in the newsroom today.”

But According to Gambit, a New Orleans Weekly newspaper, it may be the way the announcement was made that had people so upset. The website says...

“...Even longtime senior writers and editors — said they learned of their fates from The New York Times report. One employee said, ‘I had to find this out by Twitter. Do I go into the office tomorrow? Do I even have a job to go in to tomorrow?’”

That same report says about a third of the paper's reporters will be fired, along with top executives. When the change is made, New Orleans will become the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper.

Marriage already redefined...


Friday photo finish: Shirtless Navy freshmen show teamwork

Every year the Annapolis Naval Academy freshman class, better known as Plebes, must climb a monument covered in lard to retrieve the Plebian Sailor’s hat and replace it. Just take a look. More pics here.






CA: Judge rules DOMA unconstitutional

From The Advocate: A federal judge in California has ruled a section of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in a case brought by a group of public employees whose same-sex spouses were denied long-term care insurance.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled late Thursday that Section 3 of DOMA, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, violates the equal protection rights of the couples who sued both the federal government and the state's California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).

In granting summary judgment to the public employees, Wilken ruled that DOMA and a provision in the federal tax code “are constitutionally invalid to the extent that they exclude Plaintiff same-sex spouses and registered domestic partners from enrollment in the CalPERS long-term care plan.”

Read more at The Advocate.

Maryland: Support for same sex marriage surges

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Rachel Maddow points out that support for marriage equality in Maryland has taken a 36-point jump among African-Americans since President Obama declared his support for equality.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Follower of Pastor "Put homosexuals behind a fence" Worley defends position



OMG! You have to watch this interview with Anderson Cooper and Stacey Pritchard of North Carolina Pastor Worley's congregation.

She somewhat incoherently defends Pastor Worley's desire to put homosexuals behind an electrified fence.

She starts out saying "of course he would never want that to happen" then diverts to "being taken out of context" to "this is 2012 - that doesn't happen." Even with Anderson Cooper saying "this IS happening in Iraq and Iran."

Fascinating. Seriously. This is what "hate" looks like in America.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin asks Tony Perkins: "Why do homosexuals bother you so much?"



Brooke Baldwin asked Tony Perkins, of the certified hate group Family Research Council, to clarify what about same-sex couples deserved to be “less valued” by society. Perkins noted that he did not discount that there were loving same-sex couples raising children, just as there were loving single mothers doing the same. “If it were just two caregivers, three would be better!” he noted, but instead it was about a “fundamental role” a man and a woman had in a family.

Baldwin asked him whether his experience had corroborated that belief: “Have you ever been to the home of a same-sex couple?” Perkins answered in the negative, and refused to argue what he would tell that hypothetical couple to convince them their lifestyle was hurting society. “We don’t make public policy based on what is good for me… not anecdotes or what one couple likes.” As a society, Perkins asserted, “we have incurred a great harm.”

“I know you don’t want to answer the question,” Baldwin asked, patience wearing visibly thin, “but I’m going to try again: why do homosexuals bother you so much?” “They don’t bother me!” Perkins replied, asserting again that he was “not going to be silent while they try to redefine marriage in this country.”

You'll note how many times Perkins says the phrase "social science has shown us" that kids do better with two, opposite sex parents. The fact is quite the opposite: children raised by lesbian parents fare as well as they would in heterosexual households, new research suggests.
(source)

Growth of government spending slowest in 60 years under President Obama

Click pic for larger view
Mitt Romney says federal spending has accelerated under President Obama.

Actually, the facts bear out something quite the opposite: Federal spending under President Obama grew at the slowest pace in 60 years.  Click on the pic above to see rate of spending under the last 8 administrations.

From Politifact:

Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True.

Poll: President Obama leads in three important swing states


President Obama holds a narrow lead in three important swing states, according to new polling from NBC News and Marist College.  But the polls also indicate Mitt Romney is well within striking distance in each state.

The Marist polls show Obama at 48 percent in all three, while Romney trails by just a few points in each.

Here’s the rundown:
Florida: Obama 48, Romney 44
Ohio: Obama 48, Romney 42
Virginia: Obama 48 , Romney 44

Obama has a significant edge when it comes to favorability. The measure, which is more based on personal attributes than job performance, shows at least half of voters in each state rate the president favorably.

Romney, meanwhile, is in negative territory in Ohio and Virginia, suggesting he has some ground to make up when it comes to his personal brand.

Anti-gay Family Research Council attacks Target for pride t-shirts


From Queerty: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has released a statement attacking Target’s inclusive gesture of selling gay pride t-shirts through the Target online website:
“Target’s slogan is “expect more.” And when it comes to their politics, Americans do… One of America’s biggest companies isn’t just named Target–it’s becoming one. Starting May 20, the mega-chain’s introducing a new line of same-sex “marriage” merchandise that says, “Love is love.” Target promises to donate 100% of the profits to a national homosexual group – but they don’t specify which one.

Retail analyst Britt Beemer says that Target’s strategy isn’t “very smart,” especially in conservative states, where it does the biggest business. “Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, [they] lose.” The company said it wanted to “resonate beyond fashion.” But if they’re looking to resonate with Americans, they ought to try defending marriage. According to voters, the country’s still very opposed to redefining it. Let Target know that its agenda isn’t your style. Log on to target.com, scroll down, and click “Contact Us.”
Not sure if Perkins is being disingenuous or just illiterate —Target has clearly stated proceeds from the shirts will benefit the Family Equality Council, which supports LGBT families (a favorite target of FRC).

Also, the shirts — which are only available online—don’t say anything about gay marriage or even LGBT rights: The innocuous slogans, like “Love is Love,” “Harmony” and ‘Pride,” could mean almost anything. Which I'm certain that’s how Target planned it.

If you feel so inclined - check out the t-shirts on Target's website by clicking here.

Elton John hospitalized



Elton John has been hospitalized for a serious respiratory infection and it has temporarily derailed his concerts ... according to TMZ.

Elton checked into Cedars-Sinai Hospital in L.A. at 6 AM Wednesday.  John underwent a battery of tests, after which the doctors recommended that he NOT perform for 7 days.  He was told he needed "complete rest and antibiotic treatment to prevent damage."

The singer had to cancel 4 concerts scheduled this weekend in Las Vegas.

Elton tells TMZ, "It feels strange not to be able to perform these 'Million Dollar Piano' concerts at the Colosseum ... I love performing the show and I will be thrilled when we return to the Colosseum in October to complete the 11 concerts."

Elton added, "All I can say to the fans is 'sorry I can't be with you."

It appears Elton has been released from the hospital.

New Zealanders for gay rights say "WTF?"



Note - mature language

From the YouTube post: Everyone deserves to be treated with respect - It's time we ask New Zealand WTF?!

More than 30 of New Zealand's leading celebrities come together in this Rainbow Youth and Outline campaign.

For more information and to make a donation visit http://www.wtf.org.nz

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Leslie Ellis on The Candi & Randy Show

Listen to internet radio with CandiXRandy on Blog Talk Radio

Grammy Award winning vocalist Leslie Ellis joined us on The Candi & Randy Show to talk about life as a working singer/songwriter in "music city" - Nashville.

Through her career Leslie has sung with many artists including Celine Dion on “My Heart will Go On” – from the movie “Titanic” (for which Leslie won the Grammy) and Thomas Dolby on his latest album “Forty” (featured on “Hyperactive”). She sang the original soundtrack song, “Six Times Around the Sun” for the CBS mini-series, "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town." Four of Leslie's original songs appeared in the musical "Cowboy Cafe" and were performed live at the show's premiere in North Carolina.

Her self penned “Flyer Song” was adopted by the US Navy and made into a video as a tribute to the troops and their families. She’s also written songs that were recorded by The Bellamy Brothers and NYC based recording artist David Ippolito.

As an actress, Leslie has appeared on television and the Broadway stage - CATS, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and CITY OF ANGELS.

In 2007, she starred in an independent film called, “My Name Is Wallace” which was invited to the Cannes Film Festival; and in 2009 appeared in "The New, True Charlie Wu" as Eudiamonia.

Throw into the mix that she's developing a new cooking show and you have a real achiever with a great amount of charm.

More info about the fantastic Leslie Ellis at www.LeslieEllis.com

Daniel Craig goes shop-shop...


James Bond - Skyfall star Daniel Craig looking super agent cool in a pair of John Varvatos shades yesterday while doing a little shop-shop in NYC with wife, Rachel Weisz! 

Good enough for "James Bond" - good enough for me. 

Actually, my Michael loves all things John Varvatos.  Great designer.  If, somehow, you don't know the designer's fab work check him out at  www.johnvarvatos.com

President Obama and the Fight for LGBT Rights



Glee star Jane Lynch narrates this documentary about LGBT rights in America. The video features a candid interview with President Obama, who speaks about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, why he supports marriage equality, and what's at stake for the LGBT community in this election.

Join LGBT Americans for Obama

Check out the new LGBT section - and list of LGBT accomplishments - of President Obama's campaign website.


10 Reasons to ban gay marriage


Gen. Colin Powell supports same-sex marriage



Gen. Colin Powell said Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room" that he supports legal same-sex marriage, either at the state or federal level.

"I have no problem with it," he said in the interview, which will air at 5 p.m. ET. "In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that's called marriage, and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country. And so I support the president's decision."


President Barack Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage, a change in his position, in early May.

Powell's statements on Wednesday also represented a turning point in his own public statements on the matter. The former secretary of state was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" position was implemented.

"It was the Congress that imposed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' it was certainly my position, my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred," Powell told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, recalling former President Bill Clinton's support of overturning a ban on military service for gay individuals. After public opposition, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was seen as a compromise.

Powell said he is aware of religious objections to same-sex marriage, but spoke primarily about it as a matter of public policy.

"I respect the fact that many denominations have different points of view with respect to gay marriage and they can hold that in the sanctity in the place of their religion and not bless them or solemnize them," he said.

He said he has "a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is and they raise children. And so I don't see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country."

In 2010, Powell said he favored a military repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and was in "full support" of Congressional action which resulted in the policy's repeal.

BSmith ad celebrates gay marriage

For a quarter of a century, B. Smith Enterprises has quietly supported those in need by being the center of the community on Restaurant Row in New York City,  and will now be running an ad playfully supporting gay marriage in Dan’s Papers this weekend and throughout the summer.

Inspired by the six colors of the rainbow that symbolize gay and lesbian community pride (pictured), it says:



According to Dan Gasby, Chairman of B. Smith Enterprises, “B. Smith stands for civil rights and human rights; for people whom, no matter what their political leanings or religious beliefs, should be free to love who they choose unfettered. Coming off of President Obama’s recent support of gay marriage, we wanted to make a statement about how we believe the world should be. Our message: be thankful, be supportive, be expressive, be yourself. We also want to commend the NAACP for their courage and leadership in supporting and recognizing this critical human rights issue: people should be allowed to love whomever they wish.”   
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